Control

“So….why¬†are you mopping all the floors on Mothers’ Day?” my husband asked.

Some of you might not know this about me, but….I’m a bit of a control freak. Shocking, I know! ūüėȬ†¬†¬†Before my son was born, I had a cleaning calendar posted on my kitchen wall. I followed it religiously. Dust on Thursday? Done.¬† Mop the kitchen floor on Saturday? Absolutely. I wanted my new house to look and smell as new and clean as possible.

Three years later, I gave birth to my beautiful boy.

And my house has never been clean again.

Ok. That’s a slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean.¬†¬† Control over my domain was gone. I had new responsibilities and a sparkling kitchen was no¬† longer a priority.¬† And seven years later, with the messes increasing exponentially due to my kiddo, cleaning¬†is still not a priority.¬† Weekends are about doing things together, going to sports practice, spending time with other family and running.¬† I’m more than ok with the changes in my life that my boy has created.¬† I still want a clean and tidy house, so I clean when I can, and rope my husband into helping me occasionally and now my son can at least vacuum.

But sometimes, like today, just those few minutes of sweeping and mopping and smelling that wonderful scent of Pine Sol, makes me feel in control for just a little while. It calms me, brings me a little peace.

I’ve had a lovely Mothers’ Day. My husband made me these amazing gluten-free pancakes with loads of butter and syrup, and I ate them with abandon and absolutely no guilt.¬† My son read me a story he wrote just for me about making special robots that would clean my house¬†(this kid gets me).¬† Then we went shopping for running shoes, picked up a few items from the grocery store, then off to visit my mom.

If you’ve ever met my mom, you know that not only do we look alike but act alike. We’re both pretty anal retentive about how we want our house to be–I learned from the best. ūüėȬ† But my poor momma has had many illnesses and physical¬† problems in the last few years. The latest being a dislocated ankle and bone chips in her leg, which led to a surgery.¬† Everything went well, but now she has a cast on her skinny little leg, all the way up to her thigh.¬† She can’t put any weight on it and has to use crutches.¬† She’s basically homebound until the end of the month when they’ll put a walking cast on her leg.¬†¬† In a word?¬† She’s miserable.¬† But her spirits have been¬†higher with this incident than others in the past¬†and she’s trying not to get discouraged. (In the past 4 years, she’s broken both of her hips, too.)¬† She likes to say that when she’s feeling down, she thinks of her kids and her grandchildren and it picks her right up.¬† She’s lovely, isn’t she?

cast

So today, when Briar and I went to visit my mom, we brought markers and stickers to decorate her cast.¬† She was ecstatic to see us.¬† Lunch was in the fridge, so I got things ready while Mom & Briar chatted.¬† I looked around at her home, and I knew things were not quite how she wanted them.¬† So after we ate, I swept the kitchen floor, did the dishes and offered to vacuum the rugs.¬† She refused my offer, but we chatted about how we like things a certain way.¬† Her boyfriend has helped her a great deal, but it’s the little things that can drive you nuts.¬† Or at least drive *us* nuts.¬† Like leaving the laundry basket in the living room instead of putting it back.¬† So I moved the basket back where it should be.

I tried to make things just a little bit better for her so she feels like she has at least a smidge of control over her life.

When I got back to my house,  I looked at my kitchen and bathroom floors.  I had been thinking about going for a short run, but instead I swept and mopped the floors.

I needed to feel like everything was right with the world, if only for a day….or at least an hour. ūüôā

Reality Bites

Doesn’t it though?¬† Do you ever go on vacation and think, “If life could just be like this all the time.”¬† Although the vacation I just got back from? I can’t say I wish life was always like that.

My family and I went to Florida for a few days to visit my in-laws and relax and have some fun in the sun….in the Sunshine State….where the sun should be shining in April…right?¬† Apparently not.¬† Just after we landed, I was feeling so good while wearing my shades, enjoying the warmth of the sun through the car windows.¬† And that was it. I never saw the sun again.

My¬†boy had a cold the entire vacation. It actually began two days before we left for Florida, and never really got better.¬† He was pretty good about it, but it couldn’t have *felt* that great.

The motel? Not so wonderful. Good price due to the renovations going on, but we didn’t get one of those rooms they had already renovated.¬† Lukewarm showers.¬†At least the sheets were clean, we had a fridge and there was a decent pool.¬† My son swam one time, just before the sky turned black and it poured on us.

The visiting part was pretty great, though. My son turned 7 while we were there and it was the first time he got to spend his birthday with these grandparents, aunt and cousins.¬† Had a fantastic time at both Busch Gardens and Wonderworks–money well spent.¬†¬† Both places were educational and loads of fun.

Most of the time we were there, we were not on a time schedule, which always makes me happy.  We tried to just live in the moment, have a good time, eat what we wanted and sleep when we could.

The night before coming home, though, I found out my mother may have broken her ankle.  Reality was going to take over the vacation before it officially ended.  I barely slept, had weird dreams, worried about my mom, and just knew that 3am was going to arrive sooner than I wanted it to.

During the flight back to Maine, I tried to hold onto a few memories to keep me in that vacation mode as long as possible.   Riding the log flume and the river rapids with my son at Busch Gardens while laughing the entire time (except when I was screaming), hanging out with the family and telling stories, enjoying a quiet moment in the stacks of a neighborhood library.

Once we were home, it was time for laundry and lunch and calling my mom.¬† She’s in pain. She’s confused. She’s frustrated. *I’m* frustrated.¬† I feel helpless, but right now there isn’t anything to do. Tomorrow will hopefully bring more answers.¬† After I get off the phone with her and lunch is cooking on the stove, I lean over my kitchen counter, put my head in my hands and cry.

It doesn’t last long, but it’s been building.¬† I’m pretty sure I’m not done yet, but I’m almost too tired to cry now, you know?

This was *not* a bad vacation. It just didn’t have all of those fantasy qualities you always hope to have.¬† Like sunshine.¬† But as I attempt to fall asleep tonight and get ready to be slapped by reality tomorrow, I’ll try to remember those great moments I *did* have.¬†¬† Even something as¬†simple, yet wonderful¬†as this:

 

me&bri